HERO star Ziyi Zhang is thrilled to have played strong, independent females in movies and hopes she has helped her fellow Chinese women to fight gender stereotypes.

The stunning actress is disgusted Hollywood has persistantly portrayed Far Eastern women as weak and dependent on men, and hopes her parts in movies like Hero and Crouching Tiger, HIDDEN DRAGON will change this.

She explains, "I am very, very lucky, because my roles have been pro-feminist, starting with Crouching Tiger. The Chinese audience today must really appreciate that, because women have always been portrayed as the weaker sex.

"So for them now to be able to see this on the big screen is curious. And of course the younger generation of Chinese audiences are becoming more Westernised now."

26/10/2004 09:20